Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Review of 'The Art of Racing in the Rain' by Garth Stein

"On the eve of his death, Enzo, a philosopher dog with a nearly human soul, takes stock of his life with the Swift family: Denny, an up-and-coming racecar driver, his wife Eve, and their daughter Zoe.  


A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope-- a captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life... as only a dog could tell it."

Who would have thought that a story could be so intelligent and engaging and still be told from the point of view of a dog!  Enzo is an almost human-like dog living in Seattle with the Swift family.  He is human-like because of the way he thinks.

This was such an interesting read.  Enzo was interested in so many things, not just racing.  He never pretended to be an expert on anything (because his teachers were the TV and Denny), but he was able to insert little tidbits of information that he knew from these two sources and it really added to the overall quality of the story.  I liked that even though he was tired of being a dog and longed to shed his old, arthritic body, he was still clinging to life, just in another form.  I love the concept of reincarnation-- being someone different, starting anew, from the very beginning.

I loved that Enzo managed to remain so human.  He experienced a range of emotions that we associate with humans mostly, though dogs and other species probably exhibit some kind of emotional range as well.  It was just beautiful for me to see him identify these emotions and take them in stride.

My least favorite part was during the trials and when Denny's niece tried to pin a horrible deed on him when nothing actually happened.  Everything was written so well, so that's not the problem.  In a way, this problem is also a good thing because it shows that one can actually care about the characters.  Aside from this, it was really hard to read because you felt so badly for Denny and it was really frustrating that Enzo couldn't say anything and Enzo was upset by this as well.

This was a very well-written novel with the cherry on top of the main character being a dog.  If you love animals, books about family, and love, this is a book for you!

I give 'The Art of Racing in the Rain':
Thanks for reading!

--Jude

2 comments:

  1. I was wondering whether you would be happy to put up a link in my brand new monthly series called “Books You Love”. The idea is for people to link up posts about a book they loved – it doesn’t have to be one they just posted about. It could be an old fave. I am hoping we will end up with a nice collection of books that can go on our reading lists. Here is the link Books You Loved May Edition

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  2. I really enjoyed this book too, especially some of the inspirational ideas Enzo comes up with. Comparing life to car-racing is something I've never seen before. What did you think about that?

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